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A women's support group: addressing gaps in community services




Linenberger, Katie, author
Cross, Jeni, advisor
Opsal, Tara, committee member
Gerst, Katherine, committee member

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Support groups and self-help groups have been studied in the field of psychology to understand the individual effects of these groups but minimally studied in sociology on how support groups create a community and their potential to produce or reproduce norms, values, and ideas. Through analyzing a local women's support group, this research contributes to the sociological understandings of support groups and the community services they provide while also aiding in self-exploration. More importantly, this research adds to limited research on women's only support groups by analyzing the power of having a place dedicated for women to share with one another. The sociological understandings of groups and values was applied to understand how this support group might be shaping the values and norms of its group members. This research demonstrates how support groups build community through providing the space to socialize, be vulnerable with others, and participate in the storytelling process. Further, this support group produced supportive social ties in many of the group members' lives.


2021 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.

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gender ideology
support group


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